Many of us overlook learning opportunities because we view learning as a formal process. We have this view because much of our education has been formal, consequently we’ve become accustomed to signing up for classes, seminars, podcasts, and reading books on the topic as a way to educate ourselves.
There’s nothing wrong with these approaches except that they’re limiting. We don’t typically view recreational activities as learning opportunities, but they are. This realization struck as I was quoting from James Patterson’s book, Cajun Justice (opens in a new link), in my blog Ditch The Baggage (opens in a new link).
James Patterson is one of the authors I read for entertainment, yet I find that I’ve learned so much from this enjoyable activity. I’ve learned that keeping chapters short enables me to get through a book more quickly even though I’m a slow reader. I gain new perspectives on human behavior, on situations I haven’t faced and, yes, messages that I share in my blog post. All of these things help me improve my writing…at least I hope they do.
With this realization came memories of a trip to New Zealand where members of the Maori tribe demonstrated how children’s play prepared them for their adult roles. So, what’s my point in all this?
I want you to realize that play time creates as many learning opportunities as any formal effort. More importantly, what you learn enhances the joy of your recreation. Not only did you have fun, you got the bonus of learning something useful.
The next time you engage in a fun activity, whether it’s getting together with family or friends, floating a river or simply reading a book, remind yourself that you’re going to learn something in the process. Then, after you’ve enjoyed yourself, take a few minutes to reflect on what you observed that can be of value to you in the future. You’ll be amazed at how your subconscious mind absorbed, things that you can use consciously to enrich your life as well as the lives of others.
For our kids
Pay attention to your kids as they play. What are they learning? Are they applying something they learned from earlier play sessions? If so, are they aware of what they’re doing?
If they’re not aware, a simple comment to them after their play will add conscious learning that will heighten their awareness in the future. The more aware they are of what they’re learning, the more adept they become at living joyfully.
Feel free to share this blog with those you feel would benefit from this message. It’s an easy way to say “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”
I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, please share your thoughts in a comment.
If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link) (opens in a new link).
If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program (opens in a new link)